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Mayor signs bill allowing stiffer fines for property scofflaws

  • Cindy Ellen RussellMultiple statues mark the properties along Kahala Avenue belonging to Genshiro Kawamoto. Kawamoto was arrested in Japan on alleged tax evasion on Tuesday.
    Cindy Ellen Russell
    Multiple statues mark the properties along Kahala Avenue belonging to Genshiro Kawamoto. Kawamoto was arrested in Japan on alleged tax evasion on Tuesday.

A City Council bill allowing the city to impose stiffer fines on property owners who blight their neighborhoods by leaving overgrown foliage and trash in their yards was signed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell today.

Bill 3 (2013), which passed unanimously on April 17, has been dubbed the Genshiro Kawamoto bill because of the hefty fines the Japanese billionaire has accumulated as a result of the trash, debris and overgrown weeds he has left on 21 Kahala properties.

The bill raises the maximum fine the Department of Planning and Permitting Department could issue for an overgrown or trashy yard to $5,000 a day, up from the current $1,000 a day. The measure also allows the department to notify owners of violations via the local newspaper or by certified or registered mail.

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